How to Wipe Your Hard Drive Clean Before Recycling, Disposing, or Selling Your Computer

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Personal Data Security

So you’ve decided to be a friend of the environment and recycle your unwanted computer. That’s great, but what is going to happen to all the data stored on your hard drive and how can you be sure it doesn’t end up in the wrong hands? Well you might think that deleting the drive will remove all your personal files but you would be wrong. Deleting a file does remove it from the directory, but it still remains on the drive, which means that it is potentially accessible. Even reformatting the drive can leave large amounts of data in tact and recoverable by someone with the right know-how.

All is not lost. FDA authorized recycling companies do provide reliable services for sanitizing hard drives so that your personal data becomes completely irretrievable. For maximum security they can also completely destroy your hard drive.

How Hard Drives are Wiped Completely Clean

How does the sanitization process work? There are two main ways of rendering your data untraceable. One uses Department of Defense software, the other eliminates the hard drive. For proper disposal of such technology and data it is recommended that you remove all data storage devices from your computer and handle them separately from other recycling processes. This guarantees a more secure method of disposal and meets legal requirements.

If you don’t want to ship your computer or hard drive to a business that will do it for you, you can use a free software program called CCleaner to quickly and safely clean your hard drive. If you need something more advanced, there are two good professional programs for deleting files from your hard drve.

Example of a Professional Data Cleaning Procedure

FDA approved companies such as Back Thru the Future (BTTF), based in New Jersey, performs secure hard drive sanitization for some of the largest data forensic companies and law firms throughout the USA. Their pioneering data sanitization process guarantees 100% safety. Here’s a rundown on the procedure:

· Removal of hard drive.

· Documentation of manufacturer, model and serial number of PC and hard drive.

· Lock hard drive in a secure, sealed BTTF container.

· Containers are shipped to BTTF where the intact security seal is photographed.

· Destruction begins with shredding data storage devices and storage media and capturing the particles which are placed into recycling container.

· The full container is sealed and weighed then shipped to a metal refiner for recycling. This process is 100% environment friendly.